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Who's Baba Booey?

or more than 20 years, the phrase Baba Booey has been a battle cry for fans of the Howard Stern Show. It originated in the summer of 1990 when Gary Dell’Abate, Stern’s longtime show producer and friend, mispronounced a cartoon character’s name. In his new book, They Call Me Baba Booey, Dell’Abate explains the first time Stern show listeners heard the term. During an on-air discussion about collecting animated art, Dell’Abate mistakenly called a Hanna-Barbera donkey “Baba Booey” instead of “Baba Looey.” Stern picked up on Dell’Abate’s slip-of-the-tongue and ragged on him for the remainder of the show. The verbal abuse continued the next day, and the day after that, and so forth. It became his nickname. “Maybe it would last a week or two,” Dell’Abate writes. “It just wasn’t a nickname that was going to stick — it was like an Abba song that reached No. 1. It had two weeks, three tops.” Try two decades. This Friday at 8 p.m., Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate will be at Books & Books, where he will read an excerpt from his New York Times best seller, sign copies, and hold a brief Q&A.
Fri., Dec. 3, 8 p.m., 2010


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